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Hulda liked being in this part of the temple – the High Priestess' apartments were a tasteful sanctuary of ornate grey oaken panelling and lush carpets from the corner of each separate room to the next.
Recently, some dolt had trodden these with dirty boots, she noticed as she placed her books on the round table in the little study that served as an antechamber to the salon. Doing so, she accidentally knocked the inkwell over, and a tin vase as she jumped to try to keep the stuff from dripping on the carpet by cupping it in her hand. Fussing and turning, she tried to mop up the ink with a wad of her robes, praying to Selûne it was oak apple gall and not real iron gall ink. She never got the iron gall stain out of her previous robes...

-”Hulda!” the voice of the High Priestess came from the adjacent room. “Is that you?”

Hulda nearly knocked the inkwell over a second time.

-”Yes Lady Meldrys! I've brought the books you requested,” she said, wiping the remainder of the ink off the tabletop and checking the precious tomes for spatters.

-”Would you please come in – I'd like you to greet our visitor.”

Hulda made for the door to the salon, and happened to kick the vase she'd forgotten about so that it spun like a maple fruit and ended up under a cupboard. Just as well – it didn't look like something the High Priestess used a lot, anyway.

Entering the bright salon with the velvet chairs and the silver chandelier that gently rocked in the sudden draft coming in through the open balcony doors, Hulda thought she'd found the dolt with the dirty boots.

The slightly grizzly, ageing man had a gruff face marked by harsh weather and by worry, and his clothes - but his boots especially - were stained from much travel in the wilderness. He had a scar next to his left temple, just visible between his thinning hair, and the eye on that side seemed to have lost all muscle-tension, as it kept looking at a spot directly above Hulda's head, even as she came nearer to shake his hand in greeting.

-”Hulda Swanmantle,” she said with a half-curtsy, half-bow.

The man grumbled something – his name? - and Hulda saw he had actual tusks, meaning he was orc-blooded.

-”Hroar Hrovatr is a Harper scout,” the Lady Meldrys came to Hulda's aid. “He has travelled through Beorunna's Well a tenday ago, and would like to voice his concerns about a cleric of ours who is stationed there.”

-”But... I don't think anyone of us is up there at the moment,” Hulda said, confused. “Nearly everyone was here for the Moonfire-ritual the night before yesternight, except our brothers and sisters who went on their pilgrimage to Waterdeep.”

To her continued befuddlement, the High Priestess looked pleased.

-”You see, kind sir? It is as I said – your eyes must have deceived you if you saw a priest of ours in Beorunna's Well,” Meldrys told the Harper, and Hulda braced for the man's reaction at the mention of his eyesight.

To her relief, he only leaned back to cross his legs the other way – putting the other dirty boot right next to the stain the first one had made between the chair and the little table with the refreshments. Hulda saw that Meldrys had noticed, and she started to feel really uncomfortable herself, standing there with this awkward conversation going on. Looking for an escape route, she eyed to the door she came through – and noticed the ink stains on the handle.

Right then, the Harper scout spoke:

-”I'm not sure if that's something to be triumphant about, or even at ease. This may be a self-proclaimed priest you're dealing with, or an outright impostor,” Hroar Hrovatr grumbled around his tusks. “At any rate, he's already recruited several of the town's naive young women for his debatable rituals, causing much outrage among the populace and some really bad publicity for your church.”

Meldrys' expression wasn't quite befitting her earlier smugness.

-”We can't have that, can we,” she said at length. “We'll send one of ours over as soon as we can, to assess the situation and clear things up with the citizens of Beorunna's Well. Selûne's light is the only hope for salvation to the lycanthropes that live in the woods nearby – we cannot risk anyone slandering her name.”

-”I expected nothing less,” Hroar Hrovatr said, and rose from his seat.

Meldrys saw him out.

-”Selûne guide you on your travels,” she wished him good-bye, and the scout grunted a reply of sorts as he went out.

Hulda froze when she saw Meldrys holding the dirty door-handle.

-”Hulda – are you doing anything tomorrow?” the woman asked, returning to the little table to sip her tea. The ink-stained hand was the one holding the saucer.

-”I, err, I – you mean, I don't ink – I don't think so,” Hulda stammered. “Would you like me to go to Beorunna's Well? I can be on my way by noon, if you like.”

-”You're a blessing to our order, Hulda,” Meldrys cooed as she gently urged her out the door. “Don't forget to stock up on wolfsbane when you pass by the infirmary. Let's hope you won't need any.”

-”Yes m'lady,” Hulda was eager to oblige, and she was already halfway the stairs when Meldrys' voice came after:

-”Oh dear, look at your robes. That looks like ink.”

Hulda paled.

-”I errrr... I think I must have tipped an inkwell. In the scriptorium.”

Meldrys cupped her chin and shook her head.

-”You're incorrigible my dear – I pray your clumsiness won't get you in any trouble when you're on this mission.”

With those words, she went back inside and closed the door behind her – but not before Hulda had caught a glimpse of the goatee-like smudge on the High Priestess' chin.
(Alternative title: 'What'll People Ink Of Us?')

There it is, folks! The opening chapter of 'Darkness over Beorunna's Well', the first of the Motley Mayhem stories :iconsushi-troll: and myself are cooking up for your enjoyment.

EDIT: now with its own group! :iconthe-motley-mayhem: will cater to all your need for funsies!

EDIT 2: *finally* I get around to implementing some of the issues pointed out to me by justMANGO. Fingers crossed that I can give the other chapters the same treatment in a timely manner...!

Yes, the Forgotten Realms are home to vicious nasties and natural born heroes, but just as well they offer us the company of Hulda - the slightly clumsy bundle of unbridled enthusiasm and joie de vivre who will now set out to face more dangers than can be reasonably expected of someone who, with her luck, should have been killed and eaten by rabid hedgehogs years ago. Know however, that our Hulda has the blessings of the goddess Selûne, and has recently acquired a blunt instrument with which to impose her womanly charm on enemies living and dead alike - and I mean of course her magical morningstar named Pinky.

Read and watch as Hulda departs on a perilous quest involving fiends, lycanthropes, flashy spellcasting and flying vegetables.



The story of Beorunna's Well goes on:
Chapter 2: Small Problems
Chapter 3: Local Cuisine
Chapter 4: What Not To Say To Girls
Chapter 5: With Your Powers Combined
Chapter 6: Small Roasted Birds with Legumes
Chapter 7: Bloody Beorunna's Well
Chapter 8: Black Blood! Black Blood Everywhere
Chapter 9: Cramped Quarters
Chapter 10: No-one Expects The Eldreth Veluuthra!
Chapter 11: Quite Fitting
Chapter 12: Good Kind Does Not Equal Nice Kind
Chapter 13: O Pinky Where Art Thou
Chapter 14: Hunting Elves
Chapter 15: A Frolic In The Forest
Chapter 16: Day of the Pickle
Chapter 17: Wild, Wild Horses
Chapter 18: What To Fight Fire With
Chapter 19: My Dear Enemies, Indeed
Chapter 20: A Most Abysmal Situation
Chapter 21: For The Love Of The Virgins
Chapter 22: Leave it to Hulda
Chapter 23: Dance Macabre With Crowd Surfing



Start reading 'Finding Pinky' here: fav.me/d6t4a6x
Oogle Hulda's outfit here: fav.me/d6bmi32
Troll this person here: sushi-troll.deviantart.com/
See preview art here: fav.me/d7df0x8

Preview art by myself.

Disclaimer: Hulda Swanmantle and Meldrys belong to Sushi-Troll; Forgotten Realms belongs to Wizards of the Coast
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:iconjustmango:
justMANGO Featured By Owner Edited Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Here are some reactions as I'm reading through it. I'm not sure if any of this is useful, but, really long comment in-coming and I'm really sorry. :P
-----------------------------

Love that opening. The whole clumsiness is really fun to read, and the fact that Hulda never got the iron gall stain out of her previous robes really adds to the flavour. When people attempt this kind of narrative it very often drags, but not here. Though I expected you to write at this calibre. =P

Oh, I really hope those stains (plus the dirty boot marks) comes out of the carpet. D:

Is it just me or is the paragraph spacing a little odd? I'm not sure if "She never got the iron gall stain out of previous robes..." is supposed to be a paragraph on its own or not.

Also, what's the little "-" before all the dialogue lines?

she said in answer
A bit redundant, no? Of course she's answering Lady Meldrys.

...and happened to kick the vase she'd forgotten about so that it spun like a maple fruit and ended up under a cupboard. Just as well – it didn't look like something the High Priestess used a lot, anyway.
I lol'ed. That's it, I'm sold. She's a dork, I like her.

Entering the bright salon with the velvet chairs and the silver chandelier that gently rocked in the sudden draft, as the doors to the large balcony were open, Hulda thought she'd found the dolt with the dirty boots.
A bit of a long sentence and I see you trying to break it apart with commas, but I don't think that first comma worked. The pause between "sudden draft" and "as the doors" seemed unnatural when I read it. I didn't really want to break there. It might also just be me, but I always like it better when the subject-matter of the sentence comes first, i.e., I would've liked to know that Hulda thought she found the dolt, before getting to know the setting of the next room.

but especially his boots
"his boots especially" reads more naturally for me.

Hroar Hrovatr's description is well done. Vivid and just the right amount. Especially loved the detail about the eye that lost all muscle-tension and the weird stare that came with it.

with the exception of our brothers and sisters
Why not just "except our brothers and sisters"? Seems a bit wordy, that's all.

and Hulda braced for the man's reaction at the mention of his eyesight.
Am I supposed to lol here? Well I lol'ed again.

putting the other dirty boot right next to the stain the first one had made between the chair and the little table
This is starting to make me very uncomfortable. Need a mop asap.

Right then, the Harper scout spoke:
Oh he can speak! I'm not sure why I was under the strange impression that his speech is less than perfect. Might be because of the way he gurgled his hard-to-pronounce name.

he's already recruited several of the town's naive young women for his debatable rituals
Half of my head is saying "uh oh", the other half is thinking "orgy"?

and the scout grunted a reply of sorts as he went out.
I lol'ed again. I lol at all the wrong things I think. Regardless though, this sort of minor details really adds flavour and I like that you do it using such upbeat language.

“Would you like me to go to Beorunna's Well? I can be on my way by noon, if you like.”
Oh boy. I so want to call over-reaction on this, but frankly if I were Hulda I would've done the exact same thing. Oh Meldrys is gonna be so mad when she realizes. Oh boy.

Meldrys cupped her chin and shook her head.
NOW IT'S ON HER FACE OMG.

but not before Hulda had caught a glimpse of the goatee-like smudge on the High Priestess' chin.
I CALL IT. I TOTALLY CALLED IT. OMG HULDA IS SO DEAD. (I also secretly hope that the ink is iron gull ink now.)

-----------------
Okay I've had a couple of deep breaths and I'm calm now. This is great. I don't have much to say but I'm probably gonna read more when I get some time. (Sorry if I get through it slowly, I have a couple of school things due in the next little while and it's eating up my life.) I guess your goal was achieved; I'm enticed.

Actually a couple of weeks ago I was playing an one-shot campaign in the Forgotten Realmes (my first time!), but it was a one-day thing so we really didn't get into the details of the world. I'm hoping that you show me more. :)
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:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016
I love real-time comments! They're the best. Will be reading yours with much gusto!

I understand what you mean with the weird formating. This is what happens when I compose a text in OpenOffice and import it in dA for submission: I just fling in a bucket-load of linebreaks and run like hell. Because no-one likes long paragraphs on dA, it seems. I have no excuse for the dashes at the beginning of each new speaker, by the way. Might be that I have seen it done somewhere a long time ago and adopted it without asking any questions... Say, does dA allow for indentation? I think I might need indentation.
I suppose no publisher will ever want me for not having seen a style guide from close by, ever.

Shall aim to remedy the line breaks problem though, and the other issues you mentioned. As a matter of fact, I'm slowly but steadily trying to rid myself of my tendency to write looooooong convoluted sentences. I'm NOT there yet, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh and be at ease - you lol in all the right places. I think funny little details might just be my favourites when I read a book, myself. I suppose it's rubbing off on me.

Oh I've been playing for quite some time now, but the Forgotten Realms are just. So. HUGE you can't hope to know all about it anyway, ever. Except maybe if you're Ed Greenwood. Or Dustin Hoffman in Rainman. I feel like I only scratched the surface, myself. Even so the Realms come with a specific kidn of flavour I find immensely inspiring.

I'm very happy with your comment and your critiques are very sound. Have a nice day and take care! And by all means feel free to keep sharing your thoughts - they had my co-writer practically rolling over the floor when she read those out loud to me...!
Reply
:iconjustmango:
justMANGO Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I love real-time comments! They're the best.
Then excuse me as I continue to do them. =P

Say, does dA allow for indentation? I think I might need indentation.
dA doesn't allow for indentations and it infuriates me. My "indentations" are just a whole load of spacebar-spamming, and then copy & paste in front of each paragraph. It's really annoying but I do it anyway because I like my text nicely formatted.

On to chapter 2!
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:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016
Damn, apparently there's a button on the top right hand side of each text deviation that lets you see new paragraphs with indentation.

How come that's not the default setting for text?!
Reply
:iconjustmango:
justMANGO Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow holy crap I didn't even realize that was a thing. I now I can set everything up the way I like it!
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016
I'm very cross with dA now for hiding it under a pesky, wispy button...
Reply
:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Having just read 19, I had to go back to 1 to read them all again.
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2016
You're serious.

:iconbucktoothedplz: honk when you find a plot hole
Reply
:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
It's an engaging story. I'm afraid I got too wrapped up in the plot to catch any editing or proofreading errors. I thoroughly enjoy your writing style.
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:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2016
I'm glad you think so. It's sweet comments like these that make me bite the bullet and wrestle the tougher parts when I try to finish a story for submission, so for that, I thank you!
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:iconauriv1:
AuriV1 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
LOL, very cute. XD
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:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
ISN'T SHE?
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:la: :D
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:iconjorik-spiritwolves:
Jorik-Spiritwolves Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist
Lol this seems awesome XD
Lycanthropes are defiantely something I love :D

-”You see, kind sir? It is as I said – your eyes must have deceived you if you saw a priest of ours in Beorunna's Well,” Meldrys told the Harper, and Hulda braced for the man's reaction at the mention of his eyesight.

I was just about to copy the first line for a comment... only to see you already wrote what I thought in the second line XD
Love it ^^
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014
Hehe! Great minds think alike, right?
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:iconjorik-spiritwolves:
Jorik-Spiritwolves Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist
lol, maybe. But there's a thin border between genius and insane.
I wonder on which side we would be XP
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
I don't know. What side are you on? I want to be on that one.
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:iconjorik-spiritwolves:
Jorik-Spiritwolves Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist
aw thanks! probably the insane one XD
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
"should have been killed and eaten by rabid hedgehogs years ago"

:iconmegustaplz:
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
Or maybe geckos.
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
There's always small lizards.
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
He, imagine her running around with a dozen of those latched onto her...
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
For some reason, I imagine she'd cuddle them rather than be afraid of them. :'D
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014
Peh, they're not even fluffy.
Reply
:iconsushi-troll:
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No, but she is.
Reply
:iconbattlefairies:
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014
Of course she is! That goes without saying. And I bet the drow has fabulous l'Oréal hair as well...!
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(1 Reply)
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